Further opening steps for June 10th to be announced at noon
Further opening steps for June 10th will be announced in Austria around noon. Shops will be able to let in more customers with distance restrictions significantly reduced from 20 to ten square meters per customer, according to Der Standard newspaper citing “government circles”. The curfew will be extended to midnight. A maximum of eight instead of the previous four people (excluding children) will be able to sit at one table in the interior of bars and restaurants. Outside, the number of people will be increased from ten to 16.
Politician calls for end of entry registration at borders
ÖVP Salzburg politician Wilfried Haslauer also wants the government to discuss ending entry registration at the borders, saying it is leading to unnecessary traffic jams and “enormous expenditure”.
Czech Republic opens borders to tourists who have been vaccinated at least once
The Czech Republic will open its borders to Austrian tourists with at least one vaccination dose on Monday. People who have already been vaccinated can enter the country without restrictions. Vaccination certificates from Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia will be recognised in the Czech Republic. In addition, restaurants in the Czech Republic will again be able to receive guests inside from Monday.
Russia refused to allow flight from Vienna to Moscow
Russia refused permission for a plane travelling from Vienna to Moscow to change its flight route to avoid Belarus airspace, Der Standard newspaper reports. As a consequence AUA had to cancel the scheduled flight OS601 from Vienna to Moscow planned for Thursday morning. Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg called the Russian reaction “incomprehensible”. The state-owned Belarusian airline Belavia landed and took off in Vienna on Wednesday, but Belavia has now stopped its flights to Austria and other EU countries.
Austria’s National Vaccination Committee backs vaccine for children
The European Medical Agency is expected to decide on Friday whether to approve the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine. Pediatrician Albrecht Prieler, who is a member of Austria’s National Vaccination Committee (NIG) said it was important children should be protected with a Covid-19 vaccination as soon as possible. He said even if if Covid-19 was usually milder in children, there was still a “residual risk” of a severe course, adding without vaccinating children it will “never be possible” to achieve herd immunity, according to the Wiener Zeitung newspaper.
Warmer weather on the horizon
It is finally about to get warmer in Austria after a record-breaking spell of cold weather this spring, broadcaster ORF promises. The spring has not been this cold since 1991 and 1996, it reports, though the temperatures would have been considered normal in the 1960s and 70s. In Klagenfurt and on the Loibl pass in Carinthia, May was one of the rainiest ever since records began. Unusually large amounts of mountain snow also meant there were fewer thunderstorms this year in May.
Seven day incidence at 41
Austria’s seven-day incidence, i.e. the number of new infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, is 41.1 according to the AGES database. In all federal states, the number is now well below 100 – with Vorarlberg (83.3) and Burgenland (21.4) having the highest and lowest values, respectively.
Changes to debt capital tax law proposed
Finance Minister Blümel wants to treat debt capital in the same way as equity in terms of tax law. Blümel said he wants to create more resilience. At a press conference on Thursday he said the equity ratio of the companies should increase by an average of two percentage points – from 36 to up to 38 percent, the Wiener Zeitung newspaper reports . The Austrian Chamber of Commerce (WKÖ) welcomes the proposals, but the Chamber of Labour (AK), and the SPÖ said only large, profitable companies with good equity capital benefit from the measure and would have to pay fewer taxes.
People still want to work in an office despite boom in home working
People still want to work in an office despite the rise of home working, according to Bruno Ettenauer, head of S Immo AG in Die Presse newspaper. He says office properties in good locations will remain “very attractive” for investors, while Franz Jurkowitsch, CEO of the real estate developer Warimpex, has not noticed any massive slumps in the office market either, saying the pandemic has primarily affected the hotel and commercial property asset classes.